A Look at Chef Janine, MJ O'Connor's Park Plaza

A Look at Chef Janine, MJ O'Connor's Park Plaza

September 14, 2012

Congressman Ed Markey, Extreme frontman Gary Cherone, professional wrestler, Killer Kowalski, comedian John Pinnette, singer/songwriter, Norman Greenbaum...what do all these accomplished people have in common? They all hail from a little town just a “bridge and tunnel” away from Boston called, Malden, Massachusetts. In June of 2000, Malden observed its 350th anniversary. This same year, a new name to add to that list of greats, graduated from Malden High School! Janine Giarla was on the road to starting her career as Executive Chef of M.J. O’Connor’s at the Park Plaza.


Read how it all began....


You began your Briar Group career nine years ago at Ned Devine’s working under Sean Ryan. Tell us how this started for you?

JG: My roommate Kacie was working at Ned’s at the time as a dishwasher and got promoted to the line, and it just so happens… I was qualified for the position in the dish pit. What can I say… the rest is history!

Sean has always spoken very highly of you. What has he taught you about running a kitchen?

JG: Sean is the best! I can’t even put into words without sounding like a total ass kisser all the great things about him, so I’ll refrain from doing that! I will say a few things I took from him that have been very helpful are organizational skill, cleanliness, & the importance of being very hands on in the kitchen.

Who taught you how to cook?

JG: I grew up in a big Italian family cooking was not optional, with that being said my whole family is to thank for my amazingness!.

What is your favorite item on the M.J.’s menu?

JG: I’d have to say the beef stew.

What food under no circumstances would you eat?

JG: I’m pretty picky, but Sean Ryan told me I have to try everything once. However, I will NEVER try any foreign delicatessens like, testicles, tongue or insects EVER!

What is in your fridge at home?

JG: Water, Vitamin water, protein shakes, vegetable cream cheese, & caramel creamer.

Much like myself, growing up in the mean streets of Malden has made you a wiser, stronger and all around better person. Tell us how this has helped you in your career.

JG: “The Den” taught me how to be a total degenerate. LINDEN REPRESENTING!! WOOT! WOOT!

What do you find is your biggest challenge running a kitchen?

JG: The different personalities all thrown together and the size of the kitchen make things difficult from time to time.

Feldberg from Training & HR wants to know; “What would your last meal be? Details please!”

JG:Chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, corn, and warm Italian bread would most def be my last meal.

Kathleen from M.J.’s is dying to know; “What is your favorite reality TV show? If it So You Think You Can Dance, who do you think will win?”

JG: It is in fact So You Think You Can Dance…You read it here first! The Winner will be Cole!

Who is your favorite celebrity chef ? Second part; do you think Guy Fieri wears his sunglasses on the back of his head just to aggravate me?

JG: Sean Ryan…he’s a celebrity, he has famous chowder! Guy Fieri, definitely wears them specifically to annoy you!

These 10 questions originally came from a French series, "Bouillon de Culture" hosted by Bernard Pivot. They're better known as the questions James Lipton asks every guest at the end of "Inside the Actor's Studio."

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?


What turns you on?


What turns you off?


What is your favorite curse word?

Also, non-printable

What sound or noise do you love?

The ocean crashing off the rocks

What sound or noise do you hate?

Screeching children

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Fly girl

What profession would you not like to do?


If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Words are not necessary, just a standing ovation.

Vist Janine at M.J. O’Connor’s at the Park Plaza and try some of her delcious food!


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